Truck driver dies after crashing into tree in Miramar

Tractor-trailer catches fire, shuts down part of Red Road for hours

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Hatzel Vela - Reporter

MIRAMAR, Fla. - A truck driver was killed Thursday morning after he crashed his tractor-trailer into a tree, authorities said.

The crash was reported in the area of Flamingo Road and Miramar Boulevard.

Cellphone video taken from the scene shows the tractor-trailer on fire.

"I saw black smoke coming up," Rick Bachman, who is a security guard at a nearby apartment complex, said. "It's probably, personally, as bad as if anything I've ever seen."

Miramar police believe the truck was headed north on Red Road, jackknifed and struck trees, which brought down power lines. They said the tractor-trailer cabin was fully engulfed in flames.

Bachman said witnesses quickly realized that there was nothing they could do to help.

"They realized nobody was getting close enough, because it was still very dangerous," he said. "I knew right away when he didn't get out, unfortunately, what happened."

Authorities shut down Flamingo Road and Red Road between Pembroke Road and Miramar Boulevard. Red Road was closed for much of the day and reopened about 3:30 p.m. 

Witnesses said they were heartbroken, thinking about the victim's family.

"I was thinking afterwards it's just sad. This guy may have family, kids and all that, and off to work and now he's not coming home," Bachman said.

Police identified the victim as Robert Dodgen, 50, of LaGrange, Georgia.

The crash remains under investigation.

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